Monday, May 04, 2015

The Dave Goldbergs of the world may be rare, but they're out there.

Everything I've read about Dave Goldberg, including this New York Times obituary, indicates that he was an extraordinary person, and my heart goes out to his family.  Equal relationships should be the norm, but I hear that they're not.  The marriages and partnerships of my friends sure seem equal, and maybe that's an artifact of the fact that many of us "partnered up" later in life, after we knew who we were and what we wanted in a mate.  But Victor and Jeff, Whitney and Beth, Cathy and Laura, Nettie and Luc, Ted and Amy, and many of my other friends evince a love and a respect that leaves both people in the couple feeling supported and nurtured.

And I sure lucked out with my Jeff:  he's spurred me on, moved (three times!) for me (and taken two extra bar exams in the process), given me useful criticism and, as much as anyone can with me, tried to keep my ego within normal limits--all with good humor and wise advice.  I can't imagine my life without him, which is why I feel for Sheryl Sandberg and their children.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Best managerial advice ever (UPDATED).

There's a great article by Paula Krebs in this week's Chronicle of Higher Education's Vitae section (here).  In it, she talks about the importance of working on difficult issues by first imagining why the person sitting across the table from you has formed her views.  The idea of assuming that the other party to a negotiation has principled reasons for her position is a good way to see any difficult issue as an issue to be solved collaboratively.

Here's my favorite quote from her essay:
Since transitioning out of the faculty and into administration, I've had to work hard to learn how to shut up and listen.  My job, I've discovered, isn't to solve the problems.  It's to understand them and then work with the people affected to come up with ways to solve the problems.
Every time I have tried to solve a problem when it's presented to me, I've created more problems.  So I'm learning to talk to more people, to ask more questions, to listen to the answers.
That's darn good advice for us all.

UPDATE (5/4/15):  This post also gives good advice, as does this article.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Want to change a student's life?

One way to do it is to fund awards like this one, this one, or this one.

Most of us know people who have or had struggled with cancer.

And this book is one such journey (with a very happy ending):  all of us who know Geoff and Autumn Berman were pulling for them as Geoff beat cancer.  (And yes, I'm one of the people mentioned in the book, but that's not why you should get it.  It's a good read and will give you a feel for what this type of experience is like.)

Geoff:  We're glad the sun is up and you're vertical.  It is a good day!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Man, I wish I could go to this conference....

The 15th annual workshop on Conducting Empirical Legal Scholarship, co-taught by Lee Epstein and Andrew D. Martin, will run from June 15-June 17 at Washington University in St. Louis. The workshop is for law school faculty, lawyers, political science faculty, and graduate students interested in learning about empirical research and how to evaluate empirical work. It provides the formal training necessary to design, conduct, and assess empirical studies, and to use statistical software (Stata) to analyze and manage data.

Participants need no background or knowledge of statistics to enroll in the workshop. Registration is here. For more information, please contact Lee Epstein.